New virus strain: 2 from UK test Covid +ve in Kolkata

2 passengers from UK test Covid-19 positive in Kolkata amid new virus strain scare

Meanwhile, a passenger, who returned to Chennai from Britain via New Delhi, has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus

In Delhi, five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight which arrived at Delhi airport from London last night have also tested positive for Covid-19. Credit: PTI Photo

Two passengers from the UK were found positive for Covid-19 after they arrived at the airport here, health department officials said on Tuesday.

A flight carrying 222 passengers from the UK arrived at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport on Sunday night, they said.

"Twenty-five passengers did not have Covid-19 reports with them. So they were taken to a nearby quarantine centre, and their coronavirus tests were conducted. Two tested positive," the West Bengal Health and Family Welfare Department official said.

Asked about the new variant of the virus, the state health department official said, "We only know that the new Covid-19 strain is more contagious. We need details of clinical tests of those infected by this variant to talk on it."

With help of the airline concerned and the Airports Authority of India, the health department is contacting those who were sitting near the two persons in the flight and requesting them to go for home isolation for two weeks, he said.

In Delhi, five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight which arrived at Delhi airport from London last night have also tested positive for Covid-19. Their samples have been sent to NCDC for research and they have been sent to care centre, according to Nodal officer for Covid-19. 

Meanwhile, a passenger, who returned to Chennai from Britain via New Delhi, has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus, amid concerns that a new strain of the Covid-19 virus is spreading more quickly in that country. The passenger, who was under institutional quarantine, was shifted to hospital care on Tuesday morning.

According to Covid-19 protocols, all international passengers coming to India will have to remain in isolation for seven days.

India has suspended all passenger flights connecting to the UK from Wednesday till December 31 in the wake of the emergence of a mutated variant of coronavirus there, Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday.

Moreover, passengers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday midnight would be tested for Covid-19 on arrival at airports "as a measure of abundant precaution", it added. 

(With inputs from PTI)